Last year I headed to Washington, DC with a small group of ladies, not quite sure what to expect, but positive we wanted to be there to make our voices heard. What we experienced was history in the making. Millions of people taking to the streets across the world to protest the new American president, and the danger he posed to all of us. We knew we were ready to fight, but I don’t think anyone had a clue what this year had in store for us all.
I’ve been to other protests throughout 2017, for the Muslim Ban, Charlottesville, DACA–none of them as big, but all of them as impassioned. As I’m sure many of you have, I spent the year sending letters, emails, and making phone calls to Congress. The New York Times might not be handing their opinion pages over to The Resistance, but it is a thriving and mighty force in America right now. There has been a definite shift from the naive country we were on November 8, 2016, and the determined movement emerging today.
The feel was different at the Women’s March this year. Less trepidation, more determination. Fewer people were taking to the streets just because they felt like they had to, and more people were talking about their duty to be there. There was the sense last year that many people at the Women’s March had never been to a protest before. That it was their first time making a protest sign, learning the chants, figuring out how the crowd moved. That was not the case this year. One year into the Trump presidency, and we’re all seasoned activists now. This is no longer our first rodeo.
As you may recall, I went to last year’s protest intending on covering it as a journalist. As I became overwhelmed by the enormity of the event, I decided to simply pass around a notebook, asking others to write why they were marching. While it was an unplanned collection of stories last year, I decided it would be very interesting to repeat this year in New York. Below are a few of my favorite messages from the day:
I march because equality is for everyone and democracy is not a freebie. Our voices and actions matter.
I am outraged and disgusted by what is happening in our country. Most of the time I feel powerless. I embrace the opportunity to peacefully and actively express my discontent. And be surrounded by others who feel the same and also want better for all of us. – Melissa.
I march for all the young women strong enough to speak up against their abusers, including Kyle Stephens. And I march in hopes to change the institutions in place that allow the silencing of women to continue. – Kelsey
I march for the children of this country, future and present. May my daughters never have to say “me too.”
I march to teach my daughter what liberation looks like. No limits!
Enjoy a little Fogo Azul as you read the rest of the messages from the women (and men) of this year’s march.
I march because I have a voice, and I march for those who don’t. I march because dissent is patriotic and because women will not be silenced.
I march for freedom, equality, respect – for all of us! Time’s up!!
I march to walk the walk! For love of life.
For justice, freedom, and respect for all beings. We can do better than this.
To stand with others in resistance…against what separates and divides…To be with others for love, justice and equality. The values that never die.
Women will birth our future! So behave!
I march to save our environment, stand up for DACA, and against bigotry and to IMPEACH TRUMP.
I march because everyone deserves to be heard and treated with respect. We have a chance to make it better and if we don’t speak up we’ll be even more fucked.
I march to make my voice heard…and because it’s 2018 and this shit shouldn’t be happening anymore!
To set an example for my son, a strong feminist mother 🙂
After seeing pictures from the march last year and surviving one year of this damn presidency, I thought it was important to do this on behalf of my peers, my family, and the world. – Debi
I march here today because I believe in equality for all regardless of their gender, race, or beliefs. In addition, I believe that every woman should have the right to dress the way they want, the right to do what they want to do without their being judged. Let’s end rape culture!! – Pema (15)
I march to make sure that there are masses, and so that the masses make the 6 o’clock news, and the cable news because that’s the only language this (not my) president speaks. – Kate
I march for everyone who does not have a voice (or feels they do not have a voice). For my daughter. For all women. For immigrants. For the earth. For LGBTQ folks. To show this administration that we do not approve. To RESIST.
We march because…
silence is compliance
our students and kids deserve better.
We march for:
Black Lives Matter
Encouraging All to Vote
Getting Trump and the corruption out of the White House
For the restoration of our democracy, increasingly becoming authoritarianism.
I march because there is too much at stake not to.
I’m marching for human rights, DACA, women, equal pay, BLM. – Dionne
I march in resistance against all linked oppression of marginalized groups.
I march to recognize people’s power to change through voice and vote.
Because I am sick of being marginalized and discriminated against. #BLM
Because females are the future, and girls just want to have fun-damental human rights. Is that so hard?!?!
Because it feels beautiful and right…and completely necessary.
Surrounded by like-minded people, seeing all the things people stand for, hearing the conversations about progress and change is the most inspiring! It motivates me to make some real change!
More women please. – Carmen
To show resistance in the face of evil!
So that we remind each other that there are like-minded folks who are angry and mobilizing.
To support my friends and family.
So love will triumph over insecurity.
For a healthier human race.
To play a (however small) role in ridding us of the worst president evah!
Because I’m outraged. I refuse to accept Trump as normal.
I march for future generations and my ancestors. – Emma
For those who can’t and never could. – Jessie G
I march so I can say I helped women earn their rights. Part of the solution, not the problem. – Hannah
I march to support women’s rights!
I am marching for my mother, my daughter, and all women I love!
I march for our daughters, for humanity, for our country. – Nancy
I march because we all matter.
I march for the future. – Michele
To speak truth to power. – Kenny
I march to honor the women who marched before me and so that those that come after me don’t have to. I march precisely BECAUSE I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!
I march for all human beings to live free of corruption and exploitation. – Matt